How’s your team doing? Being a leader of a high functioning team of people is rarely easy, even during the best of times. Leading in times of uncertainty presents even a bigger challenge. Yet, it’s during these moments of turmoil and anxiety it’s needed more than ever. Here are seven ways to lead your team and strengthen their resolve for success.
1. Communicate progress
Yes, your team knows it’s “making progress”. But does it truly know what progress they’ve made, as well as how and when it was achieved? By simply focusing on two or three priorities at a time, you can gather for less than 20 minutes each day to review tasks, rank progress, and celebrate accomplishments. By the way, it’s better to enjoy several small victories along the journey than to “high five” only once at the end.
2. Solicit input
The best leaders instinctively know that quality ideas can come from anyone on their team. Encourage all of your team members to provide input – anytime, anywhere.
3. Focus on ideas not circumstance
It’s easy to find excuses for why things don’t get done. True leaders refuse to accept the mediocrity of situations, focusing instead on ideas about how to move the business forward. And by the way, most creative ideas come without big brains or excess resources – that’s why they’re such good ideas!
4. Build an environment of ownership
Maintaining a sense of belonging is a cornerstone of team morale. Since individuals prosper when teams succeed, personal contribution plays a vital role to the sense of belonging. When team members uncover a problem, they want to own the problem. Once they own the problem, they creatively set about ways to solve the problem.
5. Leverage your talent
In “Good to Great”, Jim Collins advised “…getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Are your best people where they should be? Is each person on your team operating to their strengths? If not, make the adjustment now to maximize time and talent.
6. Clarify and measure responsibilities
Once you’ve made the necessary talent adjustments, make sure that everyone involved is clear about what they should be doing. Then establish clear performance indicators, measuring, adjusting and recalibrating as needed.
7. Take action
Developing a plan for success is useless if you don’t act upon it. By simply moving forward you create a sense of urgency and certainty in an uncertain environment. Your team should feel confident that you are in control. And by openly soliciting input and feedback you get to know if your plan is a good one.
The world is full of bosses and managers. Good leaders are rare. In fact, most are not managers at all. Progress, no matter how little, fuels your team’s forward momentum, infectiously stimulating everyone around you. If you can inspire, motivate and encourage those around you to accomplish more than they might on their own, you offer your team more than a chance of success – you provide a chance to learn, grow and contribute to success!